JUST 1%: The campaign aims to reinstate the level of untied financial assistance grants distributed to local communities to at least 1 per cent of taxation revenue.
JUST 1%: The campaign aims to reinstate the level of untied financial assistance grants distributed to local communities to at least 1 per cent of taxation revenue. Contributed

Council on board with LGAQ campaign for more funds

THE quest for a greater slice of the Commonwealth taxation revenue pie reached another critical juncture with Gladstone Regional Council carrying a resolution to support the Local Government Association of Queensland's 1 per cent campaign.

The campaign aims to reinstate the level of untied financial assistance grants distributed to local communities to at least 1 per cent of taxation revenue.

As of last year, councils only received 0.55 per cent of this revenue.

GRC's resolution also endorsed Mayor Matt Burnett to call on all federal election candidates for the seat of Flynn to commit to the objective.

It comes after Queensland councils unanimously resolved to lobby the Federal Government on the issue at the LGAQ State Conference in October last year.

Analysis by the Australian Local Government Association revealed financial assistance grants were equal to around 1 per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue in 1996.

However, the ALGA argues that despite an annual growth rate in Australia's Gross Domestic Product of an average 3.47 per cent from 1960 until 2017, the financial assistance grants have declined in relative terms by around 43 per cent over the past 20 years.

Cr Glenn Churchill said the council didn't "have a choice but to support the campaign" but argued the amount should be closer to 3 per cent.

"We've been playing catch-up since 1996... We've asked for 1 per cent, they'll come back with 0.75 per cent and we'll all go away and be happy for a period of time," he said.

"I remember that debate on this going back - we should have been asking for three (per cent) in the hope that we get one (per cent).

"I hope LGAQ and ALGA are taking this up to all and sundry because they need to understand the importance of what local government does."

Deputy mayor Chris Trevor, the former Member for Flynn, remained cautious that funds would find their way to the council's coffers.

"It's a great idea if the submission gets up, and they do it, (but) they'll give from one hand and take from the other," he said.

Analysis by LGAQ of per resident distributions of financial assistance grants shows if they were increased to 1 per cent of federal taxation revenue, this would lead to an average per Queensland resident increase in funding of $57, and for Gladstone region residents, an increase of $98.



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